Legalization of marijuana in Mexico would benefit Canopy Growth

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With one murder committed every fifteen minutes in 2020, according to the Brookings Institution, Mexico had one of the highest levels of drug-related violence in the region. The figures show an annual average of more than 30,000 deaths in recent years.

In 2006, then-Mexican President Felipe Calderón decided to use the army to fight the cartels by officially declaring war. This measure increased the levels of violence. By 2016, more than 100,000 people had died and another 30,000 were missing, according to the Millennium publication.

With low levels of social mobility and with 50 million poor people, Mexico has the highest levels of economic inequality in the region, since some 120,000 people, who represent 1% of the wealthiest population, concentrate around 43% of the wealth national, according to Oxfam Mexico. In this context, poverty is one of the factors that is responsible for swelling the ranks of drug trafficking.

The arrival of López Obrador to the presidency of Mexico in December 2018 has marked a turning point in the search for solutions to stop the spiral of violence linked to drug trafficking, noting that the decriminalization of cannabis and other narcotics could help stop this violence.

The president of Mexico, Andres Manuel López Obrador on February 20, 2019 in Monterrey, Mexico.
(Photo: JULIO CESAR AGUILAR / AFP / Getty Images)

In the region, Uruguay legalized the production and sale of marijuana in May 2014. Canada followed in 2018. Since October of that year, producing and consuming marijuana are legal activities in the country.


On Monday, March 8, two special committees of the Lower House of Mexico approved a bill to decriminalize marijuana and sent it to the plenary session. Two congressional sources told Reuters that the full lower house is scheduled to discuss the bill on Tuesday.

That bill would also establish the Mexican Institute for the Regulation and Control of Cannabis, which will be the state entity in charge of granting five types of licenses for the cultivation, transformation, sale, research, and export or import of marijuana.

That law opens the possibility of creating legal business opportunities for marijuana for those companies such as the Canadian companies Canopy Growth, the world’s largest cannabis company, and The Green Organic Dutchman, which will seek to establish commercial operations in Mexico.

Canopy Growth marijuana grow in Smiths Falls, Ontario. on Thursday, August 23, 2018. (Photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS / Sean Kilpatrick)

The Canadian experience of legalizing the production and sale of the drug demonstrated that marijuana can become a legitimate economic activity capable of generating sources of employment and income for the State.

According to data from the Canadian Department of Statistics, as of April this year, economic activity in the legal marijuana industry tripled in the country since its legalization in 2018.

The legal cannabis industry contributed about $ 3.96 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product through February, according to the Canadian Department of Statistics. That represents a 215% increase since recreational cannabis was legalized in October 2018.

According to Michel Berger, of the firm StoneBridge, the possibilities of expansion of Canopy Growth Corporation in Mexican territory are due in part to the support of the American giant Constellation Brands, owner of the Corona beer brand, which has invested more than four billion dollars in Canopy Growth.

This alliance represents for the Canadian firm potential access to marijuana production and distribution infrastructures in Mexico as soon as the cannabis plant is declared legal in that country.

Other companies interested in seeking profit thanks to the legalization of cannabis in Mexico are the American Medical Marijuana and the Colombian Khiron Life Sciences.

By 2027, the global legal cannabis market could be worth $ 73.6 billion, according to a study by Grand View Research.

Sources: Reuters / Milenio / Canada.ca / Brookings Institute / Technical 42 / Canadian Press / RCI

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